Are you Bored? Think twice before taking that Facebook quiz.
People use social media as a fun distraction for some, and taking a Facebook quiz may seem like a harmless way to pass the time. But are you giving away more information than you think?
How this scam works
A fun quiz appears on your Facebook feed or another social media platform. You answer a few questions to prove how well you know a friend. Or a short personality test is offered to match with a character from a favorite TV show.
These quizzes appear meaningless, but they intend to collect information. For example, questions like: “What was your first car?” “What is your mother’s maiden name?” or “What is the name of the street you grew up on?” These are standard security questions for insurance, banking, and credit card accounts. Sharing this information can lead to hacking accounts and stealing personal and financial information.
Not all social media quizzes are data collection scams; however, BBB cautions users to be careful about what they share online and check the account’s privacy settings. They use social media data and answers to steal identity or enable a scammer to impersonate you to your friends and family.
How to avoid similar scams
- Be skeptical: Before answering a quiz, figure out who created it. Is it a brand you trust? Just because something appears to be fun and innocent, doesn’t mean there isn’t an inherent risk.
- Adjust privacy settings: Review the social media account’s privacy settings and be strict about any information that is shared – and be mindful of who you are sharing it with.
- Remove personal details from your profile: Don’t share information like a phone number or home address on social media accounts.
- Don’t give answers to common security questions: Be cautious if the questions in a quiz ask for things like your mother’s maiden name, the street you grew up on, previously owned vehicles, favorite foods, or the name of your high school.
- Monitor friend requests. Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know. Also be wary of a second friend request from someone you are already connected with; the second profile may be an impostor trying to access your data and your Friends list.
Read the full alert for more tips.
For more information
See BBB’s article on sharing yearbook photos on social media.
Learn more about social media advertising.
If you’ve spotted a scam (whether or not you’ve lost money), report it to BBB ScamTracker. Your report can help others avoid falling victim to scams.